October 3 – November 3 2013
A Man on a Bridge_Bangkok is an open studio in which artist Gérard Mermoz, working as curator, will present the activities of A Man [who lives] on A Bridge [in] Bangkok. This homeless man dwells near H Gallery and produces remarkable objects assembled from junk which he discards as soon as completed.
Unlike professional artists who aim to achieve international recognition this man, from the margins of society, invites us to reflect about the place and use-value of creativity for the individual; before cultural elites appropriate it and turn it into polite, rarefied ‘cults’ for the few.
Drawing from his experience as an artist, a historian and curator, Mermoz presents four ‘works’ by A Man on A Bridge; staging them as hermeneutic fictions – floating traces and relics of uncharted personal ‘rituals’ – without seeking to provide a ‘truth’ about them.
Documentation, presented in the form of photos and texts – thoughts in progress – aid visitors in formulating questions and invites them to respond to the objects freely and ponder over the circumstances of their making while adding their voice to the open studio.
The displays may evoke, in turn, the cult of relics, cabinets of curiosities, collections, scientific specimens, museum displays or art installations. This hybridizing is deliberate: to draw attention to and debunk the rhetoric of ‘Art’ displays; to expose and demystify the reification and commodification of the ‘Art’ object; and to celebrate these objects as the expression of a humanity and creativity confined to the margins.
No interpretation is offered here, only an invitation to body forth forms and attentive not to reduce the ‘author’ to an ‘It.’
Gérard Mermoz lives and works in Coventry in the UK and graduated at Aix-en-Provence and Coventry universities. Mermoz combines art-making with curation and critical writing to produce individual and group projects which use visual, text and sound media as research tools for generating insights as an alternative to making ‘art commodities’. Exhibitions include Keramik Conversations (2013), Aberystwyth Art Centre; The House Project (2012), H Project Space, Bangkok; 25 Visual Propositions about Looking (2011), Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery; Objects in Performance (2009-10), Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; Contemporary Art from South Asia (2008-9), Coventry Museum and Art Gallery; Parallel Lines: Contemporary Art from Lahore (2008), Pakistan and Bradford City Art Gallery; An Archaeology of Everyday Things (2006), The MAC, Birmingham; Liuang Hzou International Photo Festival; Gallery Vassie (2006), Amsterdam; Arles International Photography Festival (2006); Histoires, FORMAT International Photo Festival (2006), Derby; What do people do all day? (2005), Birmingham; Time Lines (2004), AKSANAT, Istanbul; Reading the City of Signs: Istanbul; revealed or mystified? (2004); and A Sense of Place (2004) in Las Vegas.